You are free

Here are a couple of comments from last week’s blog:

What if your creative director tells you not to do it and you do it and you DONT win a D&AD Gold and sales DONT go up in fact…you just get bollocked for going against your CD’s superioriority. Guess what? You get fired and you get fucked with no job to go to. You’re not the Gold Pencil Winning maverick, you’re just the little prick that thinks he knows best and wont take proper direction. Sadly, this is not the 80s and we are not all Paul Arden or Graham Fink. This is a business. There are rules and hierachies. Its not making art. Like it or not you kind of have to follow them to a point.

You either stand in for what you believe (and get sacked with no job to go to) or just follow orders and produce shit like this.

I found them a bit sad.

On one side I can see where they are coming from, but on the other I worry that people approach the only life they are ever going to have in a way that leaves them so restricted in the possibilities they see for themselves.

Yes, advertising is nowhere near as fun as it seemed to be back in the 60s/70s/80s/90s, but that doesn’t mean you should go about your day producing mediocre work for fear of getting fired. That way lies a life of timidity, of squeezing yourself into corners in the hope that you will remain unseen. You don’t have to run around your department naked or throw plant pots out of windows to live a life of great light and heat. You don’t have to be Hendrix, Michelangelo or Shakespeare. You don’t even have to win a Cannes Gold.

You just have to see what your life could be and aim somewhere in that direction instead of hoping no one notices you for the next seventy years before you head off to feed worms.

I know, I know… You’re still sitting there mouthing ‘It’s all right for you, I’ve got a mortgage and a kid and a DVD habit that needs constant feeding’. I get that, but there are so many risk-free ways of realising your possibilities: instead of watching Downton Abbey, write it (writing is pretty much free – you can even get free pens in the bookies and write on stolen toilet paper). Instead of reading a novel, write one. Go and try an open mic night (being a stand-up is also free). Take photos with your phone and become a photographer. Start a blog. Draw, paint, master the lute.

None of that need get in the way of you writing crappy ads, but it could all lead to a life you’ll look back on with immense satisfaction and no regrets.

Quick – while there’s still time.